Planning to buy a new phone? Get ready to shell out more

New Delhi :Mobile phones and tablets will become dearer with the government proposing a hike in levies on components like printed circuit boards (PCBs) and peripherals like batteries and chargers.

Focussed on incentivising domestic value addition to help Make in India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said suitable changes are proposed to be made in customs and excise duty rates on certain inputs, raw materials, intermediaries and components and certain other goods.

This will “reduce costs and improve competitiveness of domestic industry in sectors” like IT hardware, capital goods, defence production and textiles among others, he said while presenting Budget 2016-17 speech.

The Budget proposes to withdraw Basic Customs Duty (BCD) (10 per cent) and Countervailing duties (CVD) (12.5 per cent) exemptions on imports of chargers, adaptors, battery, wired headsets and speakers used in mobile phones.

The total duty cost comes to be over 29 per cent, which will make the imports of these products expensive.

“At first glance the Union Budget 2016 seemed to be in alignment with the various initiatives Modi’s government has undertaken, but there are certain elements which does not seem positive,” Karbonn Mobiles Chairman Sudhir Hasija said.

What will hurt the mobile manufacturers is the increase of duty on some of the parts which have to be imported, he added.

“We still import components such as batteries and speakers considering there is no manufacturing in India. With, 29 per cent increase in the excise duty it is going to be harder to contribute to ‘Make in India’,” he said.

The Union Budget proposes a 2 per cent special additional duty (SAD) on populated printed circuit boards (PCBs) used for making mobile phones, laptops and personal computers.

“With the levy, the price of domestically made phones will go up by one per cent. We would request government to roll back this duty,” Indian Cellular Association President Pankaj Mohindroo said.

He added that overall, the Budget is good for domestic manufacturing.

Sudhin Mathur, Director (Smartphone Business) at Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group said till a competitive supplier base is established in india, there may be a marginal increase in cost of the box due to higher cost of accessories.